It’s Your Company: Lead It!

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.

With the war over and every real reason for the economy to finally rebound, are you leading your company or is it leading you? During the last month, I have seen businesses demonstrate the most amazing examples of inspired leadership while others have exhibited some of the most pathetic ever.

Great examples include:

  1. A circumspect leader convinced investors to fund his vision and has created a marquee business Northeast Ohio will boast about for years to come.
  2. A business owner recognized that his reliance on a single supplier was holding his firm hostage. He is facing the situation and changing the relationship at great short-term risk and cost.
  3. A consultant recognized that his "comfort zone" of services and clients was no longer profitable. He has dramatically upgraded what and to whom he sells. While he is still queasy with the amount of risk he has assumed, he is reveling in the new traction his prospects and services are getting.

In the last months I have unfortunately witnessed:

  1. A prospect who needed to restructure his business said, "I am from the old school; my handshake is my word," only to renege twenty-four hours later when he saw that he was the one who needed to take charge.
  2. A large supplier who takes on miniscule business "for the cash flow" only to teeter near insolvency by spending money on toys instead of paying suppliers.
  3. A family who fights for control over a declining business rather than cooperates to fix it while there is still time.

I hope that as an owner of your own business you see yourself in the first group and not the second. Good. If not, why, as the leader, are you allowing this to happen? Are you blaming your:

  1. Board?
  2. Family?
  3. Bank?
  4. Customers? or
  5. Suppliers?

Before it is too late, please step in and take personal responsibility. Face up to your challenges and solve the problem you have.

One month ago, George Bush made up his mind to attack Iraq come hell or high water. Whatever your politics, Bush’s decisiveness rocked the world and the clarity of his actions led to one of the quickest and most impressive military victories ever.

Just imagine if you addressed a nagging and difficult problem with the same level of conviction. What if you saw such a problem and just said, "Enough is enough!" While it won’t be easy and probably will be costly, wouldn’t it be nice to know you are not heading toward becoming your own personal Enron, Adelphia, or Arthur Andersen? With the economy on the verge of rebounding, why not go into the next boom with a clean slate? Your own leadership will make you proud and probably richer!

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at, or on the web at

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